Who I am

I’m Sara “Elan” Donati and I’m an Italian illustrator and drawings maker. I’m back in my Milan after a lot of years living and working in Madrid, Spain. Except for a Masters course in graphics, I have never applied to fine art or design classes and I am proud to be a self-made illustrator with a personal style made out of countless trials and experiments. I’ve been drawing and painting for ages, but nevertheless I achieved a degree in Interpretation and Communication and followed an academic path which has led me to work for years in advertising and event agencies. One day I decided to change it all – a revolution that led me to quit my job and follow my true passion – and now I’m a happy freelance illustrator.

What I do

After many years painting with acrylics I now focusing on pencil drawings and mixed media illustrations: soon or later I will be back to brushes and canvases but currently I mostly use graphite, ink, colored pastels and watercolors on white paper. Photoshop also has an important role in my artistic process: from very small final retouches to entirely digital illustrations and graphics, and I’m planning to try digital paintings too.

What I like

Metaphors, dualism, the realm between real and surreal: this is what I love. My illustrations can’t be classified as realistic, but they aren’t imaginary either. I like to think that I fit in that limbo where these two worlds collide: in my creatures, features and proportions are true to reality, yet fantasy steps in with the clash of an unreal detail. It’s a search for that grey area in between. I feed on contrasts. This is the reason why I like to combine different techniques, taking from each what fascinates me most – the mat effect of graphite, the delicate shades of watercolors, the sharpness and detail of ink or the endless possibilities of Photoshop – and so much more I still have to discover.

What you can ask me:

● Custom illustrations and graphics

● Licenses for commercial use of my existing designs

● Original handmade artworks or art prints, special requests about sizes or any other shop’s items customization

● Artistic collaborations, exhibition proposals, any other creative idea you may have

● Not in this list? Contact me! saraelan.illustration@gmail.com


Want to know something more about me?
>> Watch my video interview for LaRepublicaD